Helen Zanette

Following are the answers given by the candidate. See other candidates

1.  What actions have you personally taken to support a more sustainable climate?

I am committed to “Saving the Earth” and everyday do my best to make choices which will be the most environmentally friendly as possible.  Sometimes I struggle to make the best choice but I keep trying. 

One thing I do is remember the goal is not to recycle but to:

  1. Rethink (do I need this? how can I do the least harm to the earth? is there a better option?)
  2. Reduce (again do I really need this? and can I get by with something else? is there an option with less waste, less wrapping – no wrapping?)
  3. Re-use (can I re-use this container, box, plastic bag? YES; Can I use this other thing I already have for what I need? Can someone else use this?)
  4. Recycle (okay I have no other ideas I am aware of right now so let’s hope when I put it in the recycle bin it is recycled, have faith.  Make sure you recycle it properly – don’t want to mess up a batch)

Another thing I always do is remind myself – everything I buy or use will be garbage one day, do I really want to buy it or take it or use it?

And the other thing I do is share, whenever possible, with others the importance of making environmentally healthy choices; I share what I learn and how we all can make small helpful changes; remind people convenience is at the cost of our earth, our children’s future and ours.

Planting smart, watering smart, conserving water (hard one for me) & energy, buying organic, gardening, buying local, avoiding plane trips, and so, so much more.

2.  What opportunities do you see at your municipal/electoral area/school board level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

I am hopeful I can influence the board to support more education of environmental issues, offer classes on finding and sharing solutions to the crisis.  I am told there was a forestry class once offered, maybe we can reinstate that and have a focus on best practices and new better management or something more innovative.  I know Pam Craig has ideas/plans regarding this topic, maybe I can help move that forward.  I want the School Board Trustees to be open to new options to offer our future climate change movers and shakers.  There may be new building construction we can aim for net zero buildings, or the use of solar or wind technology.  I would love to get rid of plastic water bottle in schools, let’s look at other options.  Learn what new options exist for positive environmental change.  And I want to get it done sooner than later.

3. What will you do, if elected, to overcome polarization in local politics around the challenges of climate change and to build a middle ground that encourages listening, understanding, and consensus that can move climate change action forward?

Communicate openly with all groups and listen and value all views even those that you do not share.  Because if you feel strongly about something someone else feels just as strongly. Share learning.  We are all going to feel the climate change, we are now.  Some will feel it more, so beware of that and make choices which help all not just you. 

4. What opportunities do you see for climate leadership in the following sectors? Please pick at least two.
Transportation, Housing, Land use and Development, Equity.

Housing – more environmental building code requirements and innovations to build better in so many ways, energy saving, space saving, material reuse, renewable material use

Land use – are we farming smart and safely, can we build up not out if it is better, are we keeping farm land for farming, are we protecting our waterways, are we protecting our resources our people our wildlife, all life.

5.  If elected, what would your first action be toward reducing greenhouse gases in your area of responsibility? 

Find out what we, the School District, are doing now and see where we can do better, keeping in mind all the things I mentioned in question 2.

6.  The climate emergency requires long term thinking and planning.  How do you envision a climate sustainable City/Electoral Area/School District, 50 years from now?

I hope all the things – positive environmentally friendly options- we talk about today are in place.  I hope we have figured out new amazing ways to impact our environment for the good.  I see people committed and working hard and consciously towards a common goal.  Supporting the Earth, it supporting us.  I see a positive future for our children.